Without identity, weakened and divided, the opposition was collapsed the day that JJ Rendón and Juan Guaidó hired the company of the US military Jordan Goudreau to mount a set against Maduro. It happened at the end of 2019.
At the beginning of last month I chatted in Mexico City with Molly de la Sotta, president of the association “Relatives of military political prisoners”. He came to appear at the Anthropology museum to remind members of the Venezuelan opposition of the situation his brother is experiencing and more than 100 soldiers imprisoned by the government of Nicolás Maduro.
“When the negotiation dialogue between the opposition and the Maduro government was discussed, the families of whom we have victims of crimes against humanity still in prison had a hope that the release of political prisoners would at least be achieved.”
Molly de la Sotta was wrong. There is no space on the opposition agenda for Luis Humberto de la Sotta, his brother, or for other 124 military political prisoners.
On Wednesday, one of them died in jail, General Raúl Isaías Baduel, Hugo Chávez’s defense minister.
Baduel, 66, had been imprisoned in the Ramo Verde prison, in Caracas, and later in La Tumba, a high-security cave designed by Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, former number one of the Sebin intelligence agency who helped Leopoldo López to escape from his home on April 28, 2019, and now, he is in the United States collaborating with information.
Make no mistake, Cristopher Figuera acted in a bloody way against the opposition, and as such, he has to be brought before international tribunals for having participated in crimes.
Baduel helped Hugo Chávez regain power after the coup attempt on April 11, 2002. Two years later, Chávez appointed him Minister of Defense. In 2007 the break occurred. The general wrote a letter expressing his disagreement with Chávez’s anti-democratic intentions.
Imprisoned between 2009 and 2015, Baduel was arrested again in 2017 on charges of conspiring against the Maduro government.
Now, he dies, and as in all authoritarian regimes, the official version is tinged with disbelief.
With the exception of Carlos Vecchio, whom Molly de la Sotta does see as an ally of the military imprisoned by Maduro, the rest of the opposition has not shown sensitivity to the 124, now 123, military political prisoners.
It seems that the opposition is only interested in the distribution of power. He attends Mexico to accredit Nicolás Maduro. “How come they haven’t sat down and already negotiated that there are going to be regional elections?” Molly told me a few hours before the start of the talks between the Maduro government and representatives of the opposition.
Baduel was not the only one who has been murdered in prison. Rafael Acosta Arévalo died in June of last year when he was presented before a judicial hearing. “They found more than 53 signs of torture,” Molly de la Sotta told me.
As if that were not enough, Leopoldo López himself, from Miami, revealed the serious state of the opposition. On October 5, he told the press:
“Look, I believe that these elections, firstly they are not elections, they are an electoral event that the dictatorship has called where there are no conditions (…) We are participating in this event (…) to organize ourselves, to mobilize, to be able to walk the streets, to be able to pass on the message, that is something else. Now, we cannot say that these are free elections ”.
This is a portrait of the Venezuelan opposition, involuntarily helping Maduro to remain in power.
Consultant, academic, editor
Globali … what?
He was a research professor in the Department of International Studies at ITAM, published the book Referendum Twitter and was editor and contributor to various newspapers such as 24 Horas, El Universal, Milenio. He has published in magazines such as Foreign Affairs, Le Monde Diplomatique, Life & Style, Chilango and Revuelta. He is currently an editor and columnist for El Economista.